This was it. The night Colt McCoy had been waiting for. The game he had been waiting for. It was his dream to lead his Texas Longhorns to a National Championship. But it was not to be.
The game started off well. It seemed the Longhorns would dominate. Alabama took the kickoff, but the Texas defense forced them into a punting situation, then intercepted the fake punt. Texas was driving, but then...
The unthinkable happened. The one who never gets hurt got hurt. On the fifth play of their first possession, a quarterback draw, Marcell Darius drove every bit of his 300+ lbs directly into Colt McCoy's throwing shoulder.
You could tell by the look on Colt's face that something was wrong. He tried to blow it off. Act as if it were nothing, but eventually he had to face reality. He trotted off the field, right arm dangling limply at his side. He was taken to the locker room, then to the x-ray room. His father was brought to him. He wasn't in pain. His arm didn't hurt. It just felt dead. Like it was asleep.
Colt McCoy is no wimp. He knew what was on the line. He knew he wanted to play. He lied to the doctors. Told them he was fine. Told them he was ready to go back into the game.
"Prove it" they said. "Throw the ball." He tried to throw to his dad, but the dead arm just wouldn't cooperate. Three times he tried to throw. Three times he failed. Finally, it was decided that it would in his best long term interests that he not return to the game. This was too much for him to bear. He broke down and wept.
Meanwhile, back at the game...the backup quarterback was put in to take McCoy's place. A freshman, inexperienced, with limited playing time--mostly mop up duty. Suddenly he found himself thrust into the biggest game of the year, against the number one team in the country. Talk about a baptism by fire.
As if that weren't enough, the Texas game plan was built around Colt McCoy, and what he could do. In an instant, all that went out the window. The Longhorns were left with no quarterback, no game plan, and no hope. For most of the first half, Garrett Gilbert walked around in a daze, looking a bit shell shocked.
But those Texas boys are scrappers. The team began to pull together. Surrounding Gilbert. Encouraging him. Colt McCoy coaching him on the sidelines. He began to complete some passes. Began to move the ball. Finding his confidence, he brought the Longhorns to within three points, but in the end, it wasn't enough. In the end, the Crimson Tide prevailed.
In the end, Garrett Gilbert also broke down and wept.
The Texas Longhorns have nothing to be ashamed of. Playing without their key offensive weapon. Making up a game plan on the fly. Rallying behind an untested quarterback. Nearly pulling off the upset. Alabama may have the trophy, but one is left wondering who the true champion really is. And we will all forever wonder what might have been.
For Colt McCoy, the most heartrending thing was not the loss. It was that he didn't even get to play. This was his dream, to lead his team to a national championship. This is what he'd worked so hard for, and he didn't even get to play. He was robbed again, this time not by the vagaries of a convoluted ranking system, or the whims of voters who've decided they're tired of quarterbacks always winning the Heisman*, but by the fickle winds of circumstance. It would seem that the accolades, the awards, the glory is not to be his. But somehow, I think that will be OK with Colt, because he knows what's really important in this life. "Whatever happens, I know I'm standing on the Rock," this fine young Christian man said in his post game interview.
Whatever happens, I'm standing on The Rock.
The thing about college football is that eventually there comes a time when there is no wait until next year. Sooner rather than later, it all comes to an end. Students graduate. Go on to other things. It's over.
It's over for Colt McCoy. He will never don a Texas Longhorns uniform again. He will most likely go on to play professional football, but it just won't be the same. His four years at the University of Texas have come to an end, and that means a tradition this blog has carried for three of those four years will also come to an end. Therefore, it is with a doubly heavy heart that I bring you the very last ever
Gratuitous Colt McCoy photo:
*I heard some of the sports analysts discussing this on TV. They were some of the ones who voted for the Heisman winner. They were talking about how Colt wouldn't win the Heisman because people were getting tired of quarterbacks winning it. If there were a player from any other position among the finalists, that player would be the winner, just because he wasn't a quarterback.
The information for this article was taken from various places around the internet, including yahoosports.com, cbssports.com, foxsports.com, and ESPN.com.